The Many Things God Hasn't Done

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The Many Things God Hasn't Done

No doubt there's some important stuff I'll have missed; feel free to add to the list as you see fit:

 

God did not create the universe

Our universe was formed via the expansion of a singularity and subsequent formation of structures by hydrogen atoms through gravitational attraction. A magical deity adds nothing to the known explanation.

 

God did not create the solar system or the Earth

Our sun was formed by the particle clouds left behind from previous stars, and our planet (as well as every other planet in the solar system) formed from an accretion disk surrounding our sun.

 

God did not create life on Earth

Life on Earth was formed through a chemical evolutionary process known as 'abiogenesis' (not to be confused with modern evolutionary science, dealing with the propagation of alleles through a population).

 

God did not create homo sapiens

Homo sapiens evolved along the primate branch of the genetic tree. We are simply the 'latest model' of great apes.

 

God did not give us 'souls' or 'free will'

Human beings are conscious and self-aware via their brains. An extra, magical source for our intelligence adds nothing to the known explanation.

 

God has yet to answer a prayer

Under controlled conditions, when a request is made via prayer for something unambiguous, nothing ever happens.

 

God did not provide us with accurate insight into the mechanics the universe he supposedly was somehow involved in erecting

None of the mythological texts supposedly divined into existence by God reflect reality.

 

God did not talk to you last night

You can kid yourself and your choir all you like. We both know it didn't happen.

 

God did not send his Holy Spirit through you

See above.

 

God did not invent morality

Morality was a trait favored by natural selection, as it encourages population growth & stability.

 

 

So then:

What the Hell did God do that is apparently so obvious to you? All of the things traditionally attributed to God are mis-attributions; it's just outright wrong to say that magic was somehow necessary to make the universe, Earth, people, etc. We also both know that you're being dishonest when you claim that a prayer was magically answered or that God manifested for you.

So: where does God come into it?

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"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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The Hammer wrote:Kevin R

The Hammer wrote:

Kevin R Brown wrote:

God has yet to answer a prayer

Under controlled conditions, when a request is made via prayer for something unambiguous, nothing ever happens.

None of the mythological texts supposedly divined into existence by God reflect reality.

I disagree that God has yet to answer a pray. I have had many prayers answered. The answer is just never what you expect. Hashem answers prays in His time and in His own way.

It is because you believe this that you see him answer any prayers at all.

The Hammer wrote:

Also, I disagree that mythological texts don't reflect reality. The commandments of the Torah are my daily reality.

Funny. They've never had an impact on me. They're certainly not my reality.

The Hammer wrote:
 And you are making a very generalizing statement that "none of the mythological texts.....reflect reality." Have you read all religious texts other than the Christian Bible? Ever read the Talmud?

I haven't even read the bible. I've read passages here and there from all religious texts presented to me, but I won't read the text itself. I value my sanity and compassion too much.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Kevin R Brown wrote:So

Kevin R Brown wrote:

So then:

What the Hell did God do that is apparently so obvious to you? All of the things traditionally attributed to God are mis-attributions; it's just outright wrong to say that magic was somehow necessary to make the universe, Earth, people, etc. We also both know that you're being dishonest when you claim that a prayer was magically answered or that God manifested for you.

So: where does God come into it?

 

Which god?


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Quote:Which god?Whichever

Quote:
Which god?

Whichever you pick.

 

They'll all nonsense.


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Kevin R Brown

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Quote:
Which god?

Whichever you pick.

 

They'll all nonsense.

 

Of course they'll are, but I need to know which one to answer your question. Or are you asking me to list all the gods and where they come in to it? Should I pick a random god?


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Random god: Idunna. She

Random god:

 

Idunna. She picks the golden apples that the other gods eat to keep them immortal and young. I've never prayed to her, she didn't create the universe, and she didn't create people. She's never manifested for me.

 

So, where does Idunna come into it? Well a lot of the gods would've died of old age if it weren't for her apples, I guess.


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Kevin R Brown wrote:God did

Kevin R Brown wrote:

God did not create the universe

Our universe was formed via the expansion of a singularity and subsequent formation of structures by hydrogen atoms through gravitational attraction. A magical deity adds nothing to the known explanation.

And the known explanation does not answer the question of why there is something instead of nothing.

Quote:
God did not create the solar system or the Earth

Our sun was formed by the particle clouds left behind from previous stars, and our planet (as well as every other planet in the solar system) formed from an accretion disk surrounding our sun.

And who's to say that God did not cause the solar system to be formed by those means?  Neither one of us can claim to know in that respect.

Quote:
God did not create life on Earth

Life on Earth was formed through a chemical evolutionary process known as 'abiogenesis' (not to be confused with modern evolutionary science, dealing with the propagation of alleles through a population).

Abiogenesis is simply a theory.  There is no direct evidence, as nobody has ever witnessed life coming from non-life. 

Quote:
God did not create homo sapiens

Homo sapiens evolved along the primate branch of the genetic tree. We are simply the 'latest model' of great apes.

Speculation.  Nobody has ever seen an ape give birth to something that is not an ape. 

Quote:
God did not give us 'souls' or 'free will'

Human beings are conscious and self-aware via their brains. An extra, magical source for our intelligence adds nothing to the known explanation.

Religion is not meant to be a source of scientific explanation.  Religion is meant to give meaning to our existence in a natural world.  Science does nothing to give meaning to our existence.  If one were to concede that natural science is all that there is, then the sanctity of human life is only an illusion, as there are no scientific theories that can prove that human life is sacred.

Quote:
God has yet to answer a prayer

Under controlled conditions, when a request is made via prayer for something unambiguous, nothing ever happens.

You do not know if that is true anymore than I know that an ape could possibly give birth to something that is not an ape.

Quote:
God did not provide us with accurate insight into the mechanics the universe he supposedly was somehow involved in erecting

The bible is not meant to be a science book.

Quote:
God did not talk to you last night

You can kid yourself and your choir all you like. We both know it didn't happen.

Now you are just being silly.

Quote:
God did not invent morality

Morality was a trait favored by natural selection, as it encourages population growth & stability.

Then morality does not exist.  True morality cannot be for the sake of anything further.  Otherwise, actions have no moral worth.  

 


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Ciarin wrote: Of course

Ciarin wrote:

Of course they'll are, but I need to know which one to answer your question. Or are you asking me to list all the gods and where they come in to it? Should I pick a random god?

 

God is not a species.


What you are saying is like saying, "Which Barack Obama does not exist?"

 

 


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The Hammer wrote: I have

The Hammer wrote:

 I have had many prayers answered. The answer is just never what you expect.

Convenient.

Nobody I know was brainwashed into being an atheist.

Why Believe?


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Christos wrote: God is

Christos wrote:

 God is beyond human understanding

Convenient.


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Dimension9100 wrote:Ciarin

Dimension9100 wrote:

Ciarin wrote:

Of course they'll are, but I need to know which one to answer your question. Or are you asking me to list all the gods and where they come in to it? Should I pick a random god?

 

God is not a species.

 

They are if you're polytheistic.

 

Quote:

What you are saying is like saying, "Which Barack Obama does not exist?"

 

 

 

Nope, you're saying if there is a god, his name is God and there's only one so this god can't be a species. I'm saying there are many gods, and they interbreed with one another. I don't believe in a god named God.


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Christos wrote:You make a

Christos wrote:

You make a good point deludegod. I guess the defense of my position goes back to my original post on this thread about God. I hold to Kant's position that pure reason doesn't lead to God. I disagree with every scientific proof for God's existence. That's why I say that God is beyond human understanding.

However, I also agree with Kant that practical reason leads to God. I've seen God's love in random experiences at various points in my life. For example, I worked for a summer at a school in a rural Guatemalan town outside of Antigua. I was an atheist going into the experience. It's hard to describe, but I could see God's love in the school, in the community, in the people. This isn't a proof by pure reason. But I couldn't ignore the experience and pretend that a loving God isn't real. I tried to ignore it, pretend that it there was nothing else behind the experience, but I couldn't.

So I still hold that God is beyond human understanding. This experience was not me understanding God, but rather God displaying His love to me.

I find that when pressured, and in the absolute lack of anything like empirical evidence to support thier "belief", theists will do some fairly odd, yet interesting things.

Like over-rely on some "authority" from the past who they think will lend credibility or legitimacy to their argument. In this case, it's Kant. Well, sorry. It may work for you, but Kant is a poor choice to convey any kind of sense to your stated position from my standpoint. I disregard Kant's positions as put forward here out of hand, not only because a sober, rational study of practical experience renders him irrelevent, but because Kant, like nearly all sources people like you resort to, was a product of and a stakeholder in the religious milieu.

""I've seen God's love in random experiences blah, blah, blah...", followed by, "It's hard to describe, but I could see God's love in the school, in the community, in the people. This isn't a proof by pure reason. But I couldn't ignore the experience and pretend that a loving God isn't real. I tried to ignore it, pretend that it there was nothing else behind the experience, but I couldn't. "

WHAT!? "It's hard to describe" What, are you so shocked to suddenly observe and recognize that humans are hard-coded to cooperate that when you see it in action it becomes "God's love" and other such ROT? You bet it's not a proof by pure reason; in fact, its no PROOF at all. It's not even a good argument.

"But I couldn't ignore the experience and pretend that a loving God isn't real."

Nothing you have described or related anywhere in this topic leads to a fundamental presupposition that ANY god is real, loving or otherwise. And as already stated, you ar not doing any kind of job of telling us what this mystical 'experience' was, either. You are blissfully unaware of just exactly how programmed and brainwashed you are coming across as.

"I tried to ignore it, pretend that it there was nothing else behind the experience, but I couldn't."

 And this is all you, buddy. The plaintive, unmistakable declaration of a sadly hideous personality. You tried to ignore WHAT, exactly?  And why? Tried to pretend there was nothing else behind WHAT? A good feeling? Are you on any kind of medication?

 


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Dimension9100 wrote:Kevin R

Dimension9100 wrote:

Kevin R Brown wrote:

God did not create the universe

Our universe was formed via the expansion of a singularity and subsequent formation of structures by hydrogen atoms through gravitational attraction. A magical deity adds nothing to the known explanation.

And the known explanation does not answer the question of why there is something instead of nothing.

That is not a credible excuse for making things up.

Dimension9100 wrote:

Quote:
God did not create the solar system or the Earth

Our sun was formed by the particle clouds left behind from previous stars, and our planet (as well as every other planet in the solar system) formed from an accretion disk surrounding our sun.

And who's to say that God did not cause the solar system to be formed by those means?  Neither one of us can claim to know in that respect.


Who's to say that he did? We're just accepting that things are as they are. You are adding to existence by theorizing about a god that is completely unnecessary and adds confusion to the question.

Dimension9100 wrote:

Quote:
God did not create life on Earth

Life on Earth was formed through a chemical evolutionary process known as 'abiogenesis' (not to be confused with modern evolutionary science, dealing with the propagation of alleles through a population).

Abiogenesis is simply a theory.  There is no direct evidence, as nobody has ever witnessed life coming from non-life. 

So you don't know the scientific definition of theory. Let me help you. The term that means what you think theory means is actually the term: hypothesis. By the time something is a theory, it has already been tested, and proven to be possible, if not completely accurate and understood. The very fact that something is a theory means that there is proof for it. Hence, the theory of gravity. The theory of evolution. The theory of aerodynamics.

Dimension9100 wrote:
Quote:
God did not create homo sapiens

Homo sapiens evolved along the primate branch of the genetic tree. We are simply the 'latest model' of great apes.

Speculation.  Nobody has ever seen an ape give birth to something that is not an ape. 

Ridiculous assertion proving you don't know what evolution is or how it works. Evolution is a constant process. If you understood it at all, you'd know that no ape gives birth to an ape. They give birth to a slightly modified ape. After millions of slight modifications through generations, you have a new species. No chicken gave birth to a frog.

Dimension9100 wrote:

Quote:
God did not give us 'souls' or 'free will'

Human beings are conscious and self-aware via their brains. An extra, magical source for our intelligence adds nothing to the known explanation.

Religion is not meant to be a source of scientific explanation.

Yes it is. It tries to explain everything that isn't known by science. This brings it into conflict with science once science has advanced enough to explain things without invisible entities and superpowers.

Dimension9100 wrote:
  Religion is meant to give meaning to our existence in a natural world.  Science does nothing to give meaning to our existence.  If one were to concede that natural science is all that there is, then the sanctity of human life is only an illusion, as there are no scientific theories that can prove that human life is sacred.

Religion is not a requirement to find meaning in the world. It instead bastardizes meaning and forces it on untold thousands, stripping them of the right and ability to determine their meaning themselves.

Dimension9100 wrote:
Quote:
God has yet to answer a prayer

Under controlled conditions, when a request is made via prayer for something unambiguous, nothing ever happens.

You do not know if that is true anymore than I know that an ape could possibly give birth to something that is not an ape.

Actually, we know this is true just as much as we know that apes are our direct ancestors. Studies have been done to prove it.

Dimension9100 wrote:

Quote:
God did not provide us with accurate insight into the mechanics the universe he supposedly was somehow involved in erecting

The bible is not meant to be a science book.

A great many of your contemporaries disagree with you.

Dimension9100 wrote:

Quote:
God did not talk to you last night

You can kid yourself and your choir all you like. We both know it didn't happen.

Now you are just being silly.

Look who's talking.

Dimension9100 wrote:

Quote:
God did not invent morality

Morality was a trait favored by natural selection, as it encourages population growth & stability.

Then morality does not exist.  True morality cannot be for the sake of anything further.  Otherwise, actions have no moral worth.  

Ridiculous. Morality is subjective to every individual. Absolute morality does not exist, I agree. That does not mean morality does not exist. It quite obviously does.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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"Simply" theory?

<quote>Abiogenesis is simply a theory.</quote>

I'm sorry, bra, but in the name of intillectual discourse I absolutely need to stop you there.

The problem: A theory is a valuable scientific tool, one which serves to explain observed phenomena.  A theory is based on (and consequently is subject to) consistent empirical evidence which is made within controlled environments <i>and</i> which can be recreated.

For a <i>hypothesis</i> to become a theory, the hypothesis must hold up under intense scrutiny.  The hypothesis must also serve to reliably predict results.  The hypothesis must be built of and/or consistent with existing accepted truths; or otherwise be in disagreement with said truths, but on a truly <i>equal</i> or <i>superior</i> level (i.e. a hypothesis recognizes and addresses its disagreements with other hypotheses).

A theory of anything is not <i>simple</i> at all, and the act of calling it simple has several faults:

a.) It's maliciously misleading

b.) It's poor-minded

c.) Does nothing to improve upon any theory

d.) Posits no worthy theory through the act.


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What I have taken from this thread

Thanks Kevin for starting this thread, thanks to all the believers for your responses. Now what I have learned so far, correct me if I am wrong here.

1) God is unknowable

2) God is in the details

3) God is love

4) God did everything but left no evidence of his doing

5) Gods exist but do not procreate with each other. and there is no direct evidence of their existence (ok I may have used another thread for this conclusion but hey)

6) There is no evidence that god(s) exist, hence they/it exist

7) Since god is unknowable I pray to him to give him thanks, because he loves me

Cool If you see a contradiction in any statements made, it's because you don't understand what god is, how god operates, you don't understand god (please refer to the first statement)

9) A perfect natural explanation is not possible, god has to have done it in some way even though there is ZERO evidence that god did anything, because god is unknowable, and god is in the details.

I don't know, I am going to subscribe to a natural explanation of the world and universe..because if there is no evidence that god did any of it, why put god into the equation again? If god is unknowable, how do we know he did anything, or can love or express itself in the details? just asking that's all.

 


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Ciarin wrote:They are if

Ciarin wrote:

They are if you're polytheistic.

That's why polytheism is overtly wrong and incoherent.

Quote:
Nope, you're saying if there is a god, his name is God and there's only one so this god can't be a species. I'm saying there are many gods, and they interbreed with one another. I don't believe in a god named God.

No, I'm saying that there is an infinite being who is the greatest conceivable being and the ultimate source of everything separate from him.  That being we call "God".  

Whereas you believe that there are different KINDS of infinite/greatest conceivable beings, which is actually an incoherent belief and has absolute no basis in reality, which is why anybody who represents your belief system is practically laughed out of every college campus.  You are what is known as an "idolator" and your understanding of the Abrahamic prospective is practically non-existent.


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Vastet wrote:That is not a

Vastet wrote:

That is not a credible excuse for making things up.

I agree.  I have not made anything up.  

Quote:
Who's to say that he did? We're just accepting that things are as they are. You are adding to existence by theorizing about a god that is completely unnecessary and adds confusion to the question.

Actually, a divine intellect is the glue that holds everything together.  The Big Bang, evolution, and abiogenesis cannot stand on their own two feet.

Quote:
So you don't know the scientific definition of theory. Let me help you. The term that means what you think theory means is actually the term: hypothesis. By the time something is a theory, it has already been tested, and proven to be possible, if not completely accurate and understood. The very fact that something is a theory means that there is proof for it. Hence, the theory of gravity. The theory of evolution. The theory of aerodynamics.

THEORY - a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/theory

Quote:
Ridiculous assertion proving you don't know what evolution is or how it works. Evolution is a constant process. If you understood it at all, you'd know that no ape gives birth to an ape. They give birth to a slightly modified ape.

You've just contradicted yourself.  You first state that no ape gives birth to an ape and then you say that an ape gives birth to a "modified ape".  The modified ape is STILL AN APE.  So at what point did this modified ape stop being an ape and start being human?  

Quote:
Yes it is. It tries to explain everything that isn't known by science. This brings it into conflict with science once science has advanced enough to explain things without invisible entities and superpowers.

Actually, religion promotes the advancement of science and there are many religious scientists who use the very methods you are alluding to for proving that the Earth is actually 6,000 years old and that evolution is a fairy tale you simply decided to believe because you were too afraid to question your teachers.

Quote:
Religion is not a requirement to find meaning in the world. It instead bastardizes meaning and forces it on untold thousands, stripping them of the right and ability to determine their meaning themselves.

If there is no God, then our existence is absurd.  It has no meaning.  "Meaning" is only sensible in the context of intent, which requires the handy work of an intellect.

Quote:
Actually, we know this is true just as much as we know that apes are our direct ancestors. Studies have been done to prove it.

Okay, I'm giving you the floor.  I want you to indisputably PROVE to me that apes are our relatives.

Quote:
A great many of your contemporaries disagree with you.

For example?

Quote:
Ridiculous. Morality is subjective to every individual. Absolute morality does not exist, I agree. That does not mean morality does not exist. It quite obviously does.

If morality is subjective, then you have absolutely no basis for telling me that what I do is right or wrong.  You obviously haven't thought this through.

 


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Quote:Actually, a divine

Quote:
Actually, a divine intellect is the glue that holds everything together.  The Big Bang, evolution, and abiogenesis cannot stand on their own two feet.

How is it that these theories 'do not stand on their own two feet'? Explain the flaws of each, please.

Oh, and also explain why it is that you feel, "POOF! God did it!" is it superior way of explaining things.

Quote:

THEORY - a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/theory

Dishonest imbecile.

I supposed you just 'missed' the first entry?

Dictionary wrote:
1. a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena: Einstein's theory of relativity.

...Or the note on synonyms?

Dictionary.com wrote:
1. Theory, hypothesis are used in non-technical contexts to mean an untested idea or opinion. A theory in technical use is a more or less verified or established explanation accounting for known facts or phenomena: the theory of relativity. A hypothesis is a conjecture put forth as a possible explanation of phenomena or relations, which serves as a basis of argument or experimentation to reach the truth: This idea is only a hypothesis.

So, yes, there's the layman's usage of 'theory' as merely an idea - and then there's the technical usage of 'theory', which means an established explanation.

Quote:
Actually, religion promotes the advancement of science and there are many religious scientists who use the very methods you are alluding to for proving that the Earth is actually 6,000 years old and that evolution is a fairy tale you simply decided to believe because you were too afraid to question your teachers.

Oh? So you wouldn't mind bringing forward the paradigm-shattering evidence for a 6,000 year old Earth then, would you?

Please do not simply criticize existing dating methods, as that is not evidence that the world is 6,000 years old. Even if the methods were flawed (and they are not), yours is not somehow the default position.

Quote:
If there is no God, then our existence is absurd.  It has no meaning.  "Meaning" is only sensible in the context of intent, which requires the handy work of an intellect.

Wrong.

P1. There is no God.

P2: ???

Conclusion: ???

 

You need a second premise in order to even try and mount this argument.

Quote:
Okay, I'm giving you the floor.  I want you to indisputably PROVE to me that apes are our relatives.

Very well.

Common ancestry or descent with modification, in this particular instance, makes a testable prediction:

IF human beings are descended from a line of great apes, we SHOULD have the same number of chromosomes as our contemporaries from that same line (Chimpanzees, gorillas, etc). As it turns out, our contemporary 'branchmates' (if you will) each have 24 pairs of chromosomes; we, on the other hand, have 23.

Hm. This seems problematic, doesn't it? One pair is seemingly missing; if common ancestry is correct about humans being primates, it shouldn't be.

There is, essentially, only one possibility that would affirm evolutionary theory's prediction about human evolution at this point:

Two chromosomes were fused at some point within our lineage. This means that we can make our initial prediction even more specific:

IF human beings are descended from a line of great apes, we [i]SHOULD be able to look at the human genome and find a fused pair of primate chromosomes.

If we cannot find this chromosome pair, the theory is incorrect; human beings did not descend from great apes.

 

Well, guess what? Homo sapien chromosome #2 is the chromosome the theory predicts we should find in our own genome, containing telomeres in it's central region and 2 centromeres (one of which is inactivated). In fact, we know the precise fusion site (base #114,455,823 and 214,455,838), and have verified that the inactive centromere corresponds with the chimpanzee's 13th chromosome.

 

The theory made a testable prediction, we did the test, the prediction was confirmed.

This unequivocably demonstrates that evolutionary theory is accurate in it's assertion that homo sapiens are primates, sharing a common ancestor with great apes.

Quote:
If morality is subjective, then you have absolutely no basis for telling me that what I do is right or wrong.  You obviously haven't thought this through.

Yes, I do and yes, I have.

For example: I, as a general rule, do not enjoy watching or hearing of the suffering of others for a variety of reasons (I could list a few, but for this thought excercize it doesn't really matter). I can then take use my reasoning to make an argument against you causing or enabling the suffering of others.

 

Not terribly difficult.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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God has never proven his

God has never proven his existence. FAIL.


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Dimension9100 wrote:Vastet

Dimension9100 wrote:

Vastet wrote:

That is not a credible excuse for making things up.

I agree.  I have not made anything up.  

Before I get ahead of myself, would you care to characterize your beliefs and/or religious standpoint or lack thereof please?

Dimension9100 wrote:
Quote:
Who's to say that he did? We're just accepting that things are as they are. You are adding to existence by theorizing about a god that is completely unnecessary and adds confusion to the question.

Actually, a divine intellect is the glue that holds everything together.  The Big Bang, evolution, and abiogenesis cannot stand on their own two feet.

Would you care to demonstrate this?

Dimension9100 wrote:
Quote:
So you don't know the scientific definition of theory. Let me help you. The term that means what you think theory means is actually the term: hypothesis. By the time something is a theory, it has already been tested, and proven to be possible, if not completely accurate and understood. The very fact that something is a theory means that there is proof for it. Hence, the theory of gravity. The theory of evolution. The theory of aerodynamics.

THEORY - a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/theory

Thank you for proving my point. Let me repeat myself:

Vastet wrote:
So you don't know the scientific definition of theory.

I'm glad you can look things up, because now I want you to repeat the process using the contents of this quote(feel free to copy/paste it into google):

Quote:
define:"scientific theory"

What you will see is this:

 

  • a theory that explains scientific observations; "scientific theories must be falsifiable"
    wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

     

  • The word theory has many distinct meanings in different fields of knowledge, depending on their methodologies and the context of discussion.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory

     

  • An explanation of why and how a specific natural phenomenon occurs. A lot of hypotheses are based on theories. ...
    www.ncsu.edu/labwrite/res/res-glossary.html

     

  • ( in scientific theory ) ...of broad scope, conceived by the human imagination, that encompasses a family of empirical (experiential) laws ...
    www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/528929/scientific-method

     

    The beauty and benefit of having done this is that you will have effectively learned how to use the scientific method to prove my hypothesis correct, thereby making it a theory.

  •  

     

    Dimension9100 wrote:

    You've just contradicted yourself.

    I have not. You have intentionally misinterpretted my words. Read them again.

    Dimension9100 wrote:
     You first state that no ape gives birth to an ape and then you say that an ape gives birth to a "modified ape".  The modified ape is STILL AN APE.  So at what point did this modified ape stop being an ape and start being human?  

    After a few thousand or million "modifications" over the span of multiple generations. I'm trying to use as simple of terminology as I can here, and as a result I'm not being perfectly accurate. But if you had the education to understand the actual terminology, we wouldn't be having this discussion. So I'll make do with what I can.

    Dimension9100 wrote:

    Actually, religion promotes the advancement of science and there are many religious scientists who use the very methods you are alluding to for proving that the Earth is actually 6,000 years old and that evolution is a fairy tale you simply decided to believe because you were too afraid to question your teachers.

    There isn't a single credible scientist within the field of biology, microbiology, or any other field related to them that thinks that evolution doesn't happen. They all know it does. It is not a matter of belief, it is a matter of how things work.

    There also isn't a single credible scientist PERIOD who supports the ridiculous idea that the earth is only 6000 years old. The suggestion violates practically every law and theory in physics, geology, astronomy, biology, and pretty well anything else that qualifies as science.

    And, finally, religion has held science back multiple times in history. Yes, there are religious scientists. Yes, they have contributed greatly to science. Yes, we wouldn't be where we are without religion. But religion itself has also interfered. It is interfering today. And we no longer need religion to continue to advance as a species.

    Dimension9100 wrote:
    Quote:
    Religion is not a requirement to find meaning in the world. It instead bastardizes meaning and forces it on untold thousands, stripping them of the right and ability to determine their meaning themselves.

    If there is no God, then our existence is absurd.  It has no meaning.  "Meaning" is only sensible in the context of intent, which requires the handy work of an intellect.

    You will have to explain how our existence is absurd simply because your god doesn't exist.

    Meaning is for you to discover. You are correct that existence does not produce "meaning". You must find it for yourself.

    Dimension9100 wrote:
    Quote:
    Actually, we know this is true just as much as we know that apes are our direct ancestors. Studies have been done to prove it.

    Okay, I'm giving you the floor.  I want you to indisputably PROVE to me that apes are our relatives.

    I think Kevin gave a perfect example of a reason that we know we are descended from apes. But I suppose you will argue that this is merely a piece of evidence, not proof; if you understand it. If not, then you'll likely claim it isn't even evidence. I'm hoping for the best case scenario, and that you will accept it for what it is. In case the second best scenario is instead where you're going to lean, I'll give you this to peruse:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/

    The links and information on that page provide absolute proof of evolution. 

    Dimension9100 wrote:
    Quote:
    A great many of your contemporaries disagree with you.

    For example?

    Before I answer this, I need you to answer the first question in this post, so I can define your contemporaries properly, and avoid you dodging anything if there's anything to dodge.

    Dimension9100 wrote:
    Quote:
    Ridiculous. Morality is subjective to every individual. Absolute morality does not exist, I agree. That does not mean morality does not exist. It quite obviously does.

    If morality is subjective, then you have absolutely no basis for telling me that what I do is right or wrong.  You obviously haven't thought this through.

    Exactly! I have no business telling you what is right or wrong. But people have learned that going around killing each other constantly is not a very good way to have an enjoyable life. The same goes for theft. And many of the other things religion claims to have invented, yet existed before religion did.

    For example, if we are allowed to kill each other, and you kill a friend of mine, then there is nothing to stop me from returning the favour and killing you. Whereas if we aren't allowed to kill each other, then most of us can live relatively sure that we won't be killed by some random stranger for some random reason. Hence, it makes sense for us to live together without killing each other, and a society more capable of advancement and self improvement is the result.

    Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


    peppermint
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    Christos wrote:  God is

    Christos wrote:

      God is beyond human understanding

     

     

    ........Do you NOT spot the irony here?

    Pass the popcorn.

    *Our world is far more complex than the rigid structure we want to assign to it, and we will probably never fully understand it.*

    "Those believers who are sophisticated enough to understand the paradox have found exciting ways to bend logic into pretzel shapes in order to defend the indefensible." - Hamby


    crazymonkie
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    Vastet wrote: For example,

    Vastet wrote:
    For example, if we are allowed to kill each other, and you kill a friend of mine, then there is nothing to stop me from returning the favour and killing you. Whereas if we aren't allowed to kill each other, then most of us can live relatively sure that we won't be killed by some random stranger for some random reason. Hence, it makes sense for us to live together without killing each other, and a society more capable of advancement and self improvement is the result.

     

    And if not, hey, there's always werguld.

    OrdinaryClay wrote:
    If you don't believe your non-belief then you don't believe and you must not be an atheist.


    Salamando
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    Vastet wrote:Before I get

    Vastet wrote:

    Before I get ahead of myself, would you care to characterize your beliefs and/or religious standpoint or lack thereof please?

    Before I do that, I just want to mention something.

    Atheists have the unbridled tendency to gang up on a theist when a debate and/or discussion is going on.  I cannot possibly find the time to respond to everybody, so I am only going to respond to Vastet.  You can contribute to the discussion if you wish, but I'm only going to respond to Vastet.

    I will assume the Christian perspective.  

    Quote:
    Would you care to demonstrate this?

    The Big Bang does not answer the fundamental question of why anything exists at all and that is the question for religion.  Why is there something instead of nothing?  The Big Bang presupposes, in fact, that something does exist prior to the expansion of the singularity.  And when you ask natural scientists to give an account of such conditions, you get answers like this: "Well the laws of nature existed in some form that we do not understand" or "We do not know yet."  

    As a theist, I am not talking about any prior conditions.  In fact, I am not talking about any sort of prior at all.  The question I would ask is this:  Is an infinite regression of cause and effect actually possible?  And then it becomes clear that this subject is not really in the realm of natural science at all.  It is, in fact, a metaphysical question.  An infinite regress of cause and effect is NOT possible because that would require everything finite, which we know exists today, to have traversed an infinite chain of cause/effect and that is impossible.  Therefore, the existence of something INFINITE and UNCREATED is necessary.  So the Big Bang does not really answer the question that people are asking, it only answers the question that atheist scientists believe is being asked.

    Evolution is an incoherent idea.  Once again, I need a proponent of the theory to demonstrate to me the EXACT point in which one form becomes another form.  When did the ape stop being an ape and become a different species?  In fact, what defines the essence of ape and human, such that you are able to demonstrate to me that one eventually ceases to be the other?  This is not a problem for the religious community.  Our belief is that a divine artificer created humans.  No problem.  What can you offer me?

    Abiogenesis is totally unsupported and we have absolutely NO experiments which have shown that life can come from non-life.  Abiogenesis will most likely be tossed in the trash will other failed scientific theories such as spontaneous generation or phlogiston theory.  Now there have been experimentations that have shown that amino acids could be formed through natural devices, but there is no way that they can actually form living cells and in fact the conditions which give way to these would kill a living cell as soon as it was formed.  It is not a realistic worldview and to believe that from a single cell prokaryote we can eventually get to what we have today is a leap of faith far beyond what any theist could make.  

    Quote:
    Thank you for proving my point. Let me repeat myself:

    So you don't know the scientific definition of theory.

    What difference does that make?  If I'm using a certain word in a certain way that is, in accordance with the current lexicon, proper usage.. then why should it matter if there are other ways to use the term?  Your job should be to disprove that these ideas are not theories in the way that I use the term.

    Quote:
    After a few thousand or million "modifications" over the span of multiple generations. I'm trying to use as simple of terminology as I can here, and as a result I'm not being perfectly accurate. But if you had the education to understand the actual terminology, we wouldn't be having this discussion. So I'll make do with what I can.

    When did the ape stop being an ape, sir?

    Quote:
    You will have to explain how our existence is absurd simply because your god doesn't exist.

    Okay, we are veering off in too many different directions here.  For the sake of brevity, I think we should just pick one topic to discuss.  I will be happy to debate you on things like morality and purposeful existence, but only one thing at a time.  Otherwise, it will take me a few hours to completely one post.


    Vastet
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    Salamando wrote:Vastet

    Salamando wrote:

    Vastet wrote:

    Before I get ahead of myself, would you care to characterize your beliefs and/or religious standpoint or lack thereof please?

    Before I do that, I just want to mention something.

    Atheists have the unbridled tendency to gang up on a theist when a debate and/or discussion is going on.  I cannot possibly find the time to respond to everybody, so I am only going to respond to Vastet.  You can contribute to the discussion if you wish, but I'm only going to respond to Vastet.

    You have indeed entered the lair of the dragon. I don't blame you for picking one person and only one person to argue with, though I am kind of surprised you chose me. So you know, I may refer to other members at times. I am not an expert on everything. Smiling

    Salamando wrote:
    I will assume the Christian perspective.

    I would like to let you know that "Christian" to me is a very loose term, that I happen to apply to every segment of Christianity from the moment it was identifiable as a seperate phenomenae than Judaism. From Mormons to Presbyterians to Catholics to the little cult of Jesus worshippers on 5th street. If this is going to cause a potential problem for you, then I recommend you be a bit more specific.

    Salamando wrote:
     

    Quote:
    Would you care to demonstrate this?

    The Big Bang does not answer the fundamental question of why anything exists at all and that is the question for religion.  Why is there something instead of nothing?

    I'm with you in that the Big Bang is not a satisfactory answer to a "why". But religion presupposes that there is a "why" in the first place. Science is still asking if there is a why. In the process of doing so, it is discovering some pretty spectacular things about how existence works.

    Salamando wrote:
     The Big Bang presupposes, in fact, that something does exist prior to the expansion of the singularity.
     

    This demonstrates a slight misunderstanding of the Big Bang theory. Our knowledge of what happened is restricted to moments after it happened. It is not presupposing anything, because it doesn't actually explain what exactly happened. It explains what happened after the "Big Bang" itself happened. We don't know what the Big Bang itself was. We simply know the results, to use a laymans understanding.

    Salamando wrote:
     And when you ask natural scientists to give an account of such conditions, you get answers like this: "Well the laws of nature existed in some form that we do not understand" or "We do not know yet."  

    Yes, because we don't know. There are a number of hypothesis attempting to explain it, but nothing has yet accomplished it to our satisfaction.

    Although, to be honest, science is never really satisfied. It constantly tries to prove itself wrong.

    Salamando wrote:
    As a theist, I am not talking about any prior conditions.  In fact, I am not talking about any sort of prior at all.  The question I would ask is this:  Is an infinite regression of cause and effect actually possible?
     

    That would require time to be infinite throughout the past, and it isn't. The way I understand the physics, time did not start until after the big bang ocurred. This is due to the nature of time being a symptom of the expansion of space, to get across the basic idea without going into a lengthy discussion on the nature of the fourth dimension. This is why some have theorized that time itself bends at the event horizon of a black hole.

    Salamando wrote:
     And then it becomes clear that this subject is not really in the realm of natural science at all.  It is, in fact, a metaphysical question.  An infinite regress of cause and effect is NOT possible because that would require everything finite, which we know exists today, to have traversed an infinite chain of cause/effect and that is impossible.
     

    Actually, it is not technically impossible. However, that's kind of beside the point. The simple fact of the matter is that we haven't narrowed it down yet. There are dozens of theories and hypothesis regarding origin. None of them are yet testable. Or if they are, the results are as yet inconclusive. 

    Salamando wrote:
    Therefore, the existence of something INFINITE and UNCREATED is necessary.  So the Big Bang does not really answer the question that people are asking, it only answers the question that atheist scientists believe is being asked.

    But this is logically unsound. The laws of pysics prohibit it. Even if you go ahead and say that those laws were created with everything else, you're still presupposing a god in the first place, when we have no evidence with which to conclude that one is necessary or likely.

    Salamando wrote:
    Evolution is an incoherent idea.  Once again, I need a proponent of the theory to demonstrate to me the EXACT point in which one form becomes another form.
     

    Therein lies your problem. For the simple sake of keeping us from going insane by generating an exponentially growing number of species to define in the trillions of trillions^10^10+; biology has set down clear definitions of what it takes. These definitions are merely for the convenience of our understanding however. Still, I give you:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-evolution.html

    It will take quite awhile to read through all of that, but once you do you will better be able to argue the topic. So please take your time before responding.

    Salamando wrote:
     When did the ape stop being an ape and become a different species?  In fact, what defines the essence of ape and human, such that you are able to demonstrate to me that one eventually ceases to be the other?  This is not a problem for the religious community.  Our belief is that a divine artificer created humans.  No problem.  What can you offer me?

    Hopefully you understand how science approaches evolution better now. Smiling 

    Since reading that link and the links it leads to will show you the flaws in your arguments regarding evolution itself, I'll leave most other arguments regarding evolution in this post alone for the sake of reducing the size of this conversation.

    Salamando wrote:
    Abiogenesis is totally unsupported and we have absolutely NO experiments which have shown that life can come from non-life.  Abiogenesis will most likely be tossed in the trash will other failed scientific theories such as spontaneous generation or phlogiston theory.  Now there have been experimentations that have shown that amino acids could be formed through natural devices, but there is no way that they can actually form living cells and in fact the conditions which give way to these would kill a living cell as soon as it was formed.  It is not a realistic worldview and to believe that from a single cell prokaryote we can eventually get to what we have today is a leap of faith far beyond what any theist could make.  

    This suggests that religious arguments aren't keeping up with scientific discovery.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/17/science/17LIFE.html?em

    For the most part, however, the details in the topic of abiogenesis are far beyond my expertise. So I doubt I am going to delve into that subject any further than this response.

    Frankly, for the religious side, I don't see it as an issue one way or the other. You are effectively claiming abiogenesis anyway, you just have "God"s hand putting things together instead of them happening on their own. Reducing the argument therefore brings it merely into a question as to whether or not there's a god there.

    For our part, we cannot test the question, and most of the time we can't comprehend it due to flaws in logical reasoning behind the question itself. So it's logical to ignore it unless or until we can test it or comprehend it.

    Salamando wrote:

    What difference does that make?  If I'm using a certain word in a certain way that is, in accordance with the current lexicon, proper usage.. then why should it matter if there are other ways to use the term?  Your job should be to disprove that these ideas are not theories in the way that I use the term.

    It makes a huge difference, because that's not what the phrase "theory of evolution" means. The phrase uses the scientific definition of the term, not the common one. This is a flaw with the english language being so manipulable. I'm not really blaming you here, so you know. I'm just trying to get you to comprehend our arguments.

    Salamando wrote:

    When did the ape stop being an ape, sir?

    The ape never stopped being an ape my friend. His kids just went in a different direction than his friends kids did. And then their kids went even further. And so on. Eye-wink

    Salamando wrote:

    Quote:
    You will have to explain how our existence is absurd simply because your god doesn't exist.

    Okay, we are veering off in too many different directions here.  For the sake of brevity, I think we should just pick one topic to discuss.  I will be happy to debate you on things like morality and purposeful existence, but only one thing at a time.  Otherwise, it will take me a few hours to completely one post.

    I have no problem with subtracting this from the discussion. Posts can get entirely too long as it is. Smiling

    Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


    butterbattle
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    Salamando wrote: You can

    Salamando wrote:

    You can contribute to the discussion if you wish, but I'm only going to respond to Vastet.

    Alright then, you don't have to respond to me if you don't want to, but I can't restrain myself from emphasizing a few points.

    Quote:
    Once again, I need a proponent of the theory to demonstrate to me the EXACT point in which one form becomes another form.

    Well, my answer might surprise you, but there is no exact point. As any supporter of the theory will tell you, evolution works through incremental changes, so an organism will always give birth to an organism of the same form. Of course, you should also clarify your request and define what you mean by "forms."

    ________________

    domain

    kingdom

    phylum

    class

    order

    family

    genus

    species

    ________________

    Generally, when Creationists refer to "type," or "kind" or "form," they're talking about "species" or sometimes, "genus," unless you're VenomFangX, in which case, you're implying "domain." But, again, for any of these, an organism's offspring will never be of a different form. If you want a different form to arise, you'll have to wait many generations for natural selection to take its toll. Eventually, the organism may be sufficiently different to be deemed a different "form." If you want two or more different forms to arise from one, a good bet would be to separate the species in question into distinct populations, probably through some geographical characteristic, like a river or a cliff. Then, the two groups will be free to procreate independent from each other and accumulate different until they can no longer interbreed. This is speciation. 

    Or, maybe I misinterpreted your request and you were looking for the exact generation at which a transitional form become more like the present form than the form that it used to be. These are all extremely vague terms, so let's try an example.

    Currently, the consensus is that modern birds evolved from small dinosaurs. In this situation, then, your request would be to find the exact generation at which the organism is exactly half dinosaur and half bird. To accomplish this, we have to list the traits of a bird, the traits of the dinosaur, and discover a fossil that takes the mean of these two lists. Unfortunately, this is impossible.

    The biggest reason is, undoubtedly, that it is incredibly rare for organisms to be fossilized, so even if you knew the exact changes in DNA, generation by generation, it's ridiculously unlikely that you're going to find any of the generations that you want. Another reason is that these changes, invitably, aren't uniform.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEKqqrfWevc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q76jw0ZB9hA 

    Quote:
    When did the ape stop being an ape and become a different species?  In fact, what defines the essence of ape and human, such that you are able to demonstrate to me that one eventually ceases to be the other?

    First, we did not stop being an ape. By scientific classification, we are still apes. 

    Other than that point, you can refer to my previous comment.

    Quote:
    This is not a problem for the religious community.  Our belief is that a divine artificer created humans.  No problem.  What can you offer me?

    But, notice that while your belief allows all organisms to be neatly categorized, you don't actually know what the categories are. All Creationists claim that God created distinct kinds. But, what is a kind? What are the kinds? If these questions cannot be answered, then you need another epistemology to classify living things.

    Quote:
    Abiogenesis is totally unsupported and we have absolutely NO experiments which have shown that life can come from non-life.

    Have you researched this topic or are you just saying this?

    Quote:
    Abiogenesis will most likely be tossed in the trash will other failed scientific theories such as spontaneous generation or phlogiston theory.

    Why? How do you know? 

    Quote:
    Now there have been experimentations that have shown that amino acids could be formed through natural devices, but there is no way that they can actually form living cells and

    Why not?

    Quote:
    in fact the conditions which give way to these would kill a living cell as soon as it was formed.

    Link?

    Quote:
    It is not a realistic worldview

    Why not?

    Quote:
    and to believe that from a single cell prokaryote we can eventually get to what we have today is a leap of faith far beyond what any theist could make.

    Why?

    Quote:
    What difference does that make? If I'm using a certain word in a certain way that is, in accordance with the current lexicon, proper usage.. then why should it matter if there are other ways to use the term?  Your job should be to disprove that these ideas are not theories in the way that I use the term.

    Ah, but then it is misleading when you use the term theory to describe evolution. Why not just call it guess?

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


    LetsBeLogical (not verified)
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    Huh?

    After reading ridiculous things atheists have said over the years, this *list* is by far the most ridiculous.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    God did not create the universe

    Our universe was formed via the expansion of a singularity and subsequent formation of structures by hydrogen atoms through gravitational attraction. A magical deity adds nothing to the known explanation.

    Speculation at its best folks.  We have someone asserting that he knows for certain that our universe was formed via a singularity and just where did the singularity come from?  Was it eternal?  Did it come from nothing?  Let me guess at the reply.... "We don't know where it came from, but that doesn't mean that God did it".  If you make that statement then you have to retract your last sentence of "A magical deity adds nothing to the known explanation" since you don't actually know if the known explanation is true. 

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    God did not create the solar system or the Earth

    Our sun was formed by the particle clouds left behind from previous stars, and our planet (as well as every other planet in the solar system) formed from an accretion disk surrounding our sun.

    And just how on "God's green earth" do you know that?  Oh wait? Nature did it!  It must have since we don't believe that intelligence created the universe, data, laws, etc...

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    God did not create life on Earth

    Life on Earth was formed through a chemical evolutionary process known as 'abiogenesis' (not to be confused with modern evolutionary science, dealing with the propagation of alleles through a population).

    Another speculation.  Again, how do you know any of this?  Give us the empirical data or are you relying on the ridiculous "all life we observe comes from life but the first living thing MUST have come from nonliving material" nonsense.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    God did not create homo sapiens

    Homo sapiens evolved along the primate branch of the genetic tree. We are simply the 'latest model' of great apes.

    Speculation is fun isn't it?  You should start a challenge for parents to stop telling their children to "quit acting like monkeys" or "stop acting like an animal".  Silly parent, your kids ARE animals.  Let them be.  Why hinder their instincts to jump on beds, couches, tables, etc...  They can't help it because nature made them this way!

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    God did not give us 'souls' or 'free will'

    Human beings are conscious and self-aware via their brains. An extra, magical source for our intelligence adds nothing to the known explanation.

    Not all religous people believe in an immaterial soul so this is a non issue for me.  However, how do you know that God did not give us 'free will'?  Wouldn't 'free will' also come from the 'brain'?  If you have no free will then wouldn't that mean that some 'force' is controlling what you think and do?  If so, then people are religious BECAUSE this force or 'chemical process' apparently made them this way.  *begin sarcasm* You are now fighting against something people are born with and who are you to tell them that how they are born is bad or wrong? *end sarcasm*

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    God has yet to answer a prayer

    Under controlled conditions, when a request is made via prayer for something unambiguous, nothing ever happens.

    This is one of my favorites.  Since we are testing God he should perform when we want him to.  What's funny is that if something were to happen in the controlled environment you still wouldn't believe it.  You would chalk it up to mere coincidence. 

    You can not make the statement "God has yet to answer a prayer" because YOU have not heard, read, etc... every prayer ever made and then followed up to see if they all did not come to pass.  Let's add this to the beginning of your sentence so that it could be true, "In my opinion, God has yet to answer a prayer". 

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    God did not provide us with accurate insight into the mechanics the universe he supposedly was somehow involved in erecting

    None of the mythological texts supposedly divined into existence by God reflect reality.

    I'm confused.  Are the texts mythological or are the statements made in the texts mythological?  Again, you are using a word that you can't logically use.  A "myth" by definition is an imaginary or fictitious thing or person.  The problem is that YOU can not know for certain if something is fictitious in your worldview can you?  Again, to be consistent you have to say , "In my opinion, (insert inaccurate statement)" .  The best part is how none of the texts reflect reality.  Go read the book of Proverbs and tell me that it doesn't reflect reality.  This of course would require that you *gasp* actually read it.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    God did not talk to you last night

    You can kid yourself and your choir all you like. We both know it didn't happen.

    You don't know for certain that ANYTHING did or did not happen.  What evidence would someone need to produce that convinces you that God spoke to someone?  Would he need to make an mp3?  If so, how do you know it was God on it?  What exactly would be the convincer for you?  Again, asserting something you couldn't possibly know.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    God did not send his Holy Spirit through you

    See above.

    See above answer

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    God did not invent morality

    Morality was a trait favored by natural selection, as it encourages population growth & stability

    Morality is a trait favored by natural selection?  Are you kidding me?  You know this how?  Tell me what is the standard of "good"?  Is it natural selection?  Population growth is not a good thing according to your scientists or have you not read that?  Where are you seeing stability?  Seems to me that "natural selection" is causing us more damage than good.  Look at the world around you.  Is that your standard of morality?  If so, please stay far away from my family as you apparently can't tell the difference between good and bad.

    Interesting how theists get accussed of asserting things without evidence and yet this post was the exact same thing!  You want the world to be free from religion and theism and yet it's the "world" that causes the belief in a god.  How can you fight against nature? If nature is the standard of morality then it must be "good" to be a theist since the majority of the world believes in a god.  Good ole nature sure has been playing a cruel joke on the world eh?  I guess so since it also causes men to think they are nothing more than the "latest model" of great ape and have no control over their own thoughts and actions.  The random chemical reactions must be tired because I must now end this reply, not as I will but as they will.   Just think about why your random chemical reactions are somehow better than my random chemical reactions.


    Kevin R Brown
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    Quote:Speculation at its

    Quote:
    Speculation at its best folks.  We have someone asserting that he knows for certain that our universe was formed via a singularity and just where did the singularity come from?  Was it eternal?  Did it come from nothing?  Let me guess at the reply.... "We don't know where it came from, but that doesn't mean that God did it".  If you make that statement then you have to retract your last sentence of "A magical deity adds nothing to the known explanation" since you don't actually know if the known explanation is true.

    'Speculation' indeed. 'Speculation' based on empirical redshift data that very, very strongly suggests that the galaxies of the universe are careening away from each other and, if we rewound time, would've - roughly 13.5 billion years ago - been all sitting on top of one another.

    There are competing theories regarding the origin of the singularity, but yes - right now, the most honest answer is, 'We're not sure'. If you think that God magically conjured it into being, explain why you think this. What evidence do you have that this is the best explanation for the origin of the universe.

    Quote:
    And just how on "God's green earth" do you know that?  Oh wait? Nature did it!  It must have since we don't believe that intelligence created the universe, data, laws, etc...

    We know this via empirical satellite data that was gathered by the Wilkinson probe, launched by NASA in 2001 to take cosmic microwave background radiation temperature readings from roughly 13 billion light years away - effectively looking 'back in time' 13 billion years to see the remnant imprint predicted by the big bang theory.

     

     

    If you'd have been keeping-up with the amazing work done at NASA over the past few decades, you'd have known it too.

    Quote:
    Another speculation.  Again, how do you know any of this?  Give us the empirical data or are you relying on the ridiculous "all life we observe comes from life but the first living thing MUST have come from nonliving material" nonsense.

    Okay; but be forewarned, this is not an easy read:

    DeludedGod has a wonderful article here, as well as a follow-up.

    I cannot break this down for you here as I myself, despite having tried multiple times, simply cannot fully comprehend either article. There is simply too much math.

    If you're looking for easy answers, needless to say, don't bother turning to science.

    Quote:
    Speculation is fun isn't it?  You should start a challenge for parents to stop telling their children to "quit acting like monkeys" or "stop acting like an animal".  Silly parent, your kids ARE animals.  Let them be.  Why hinder their instincts to jump on beds, couches, tables, etc...  They can't help it because nature made them this way!

    Again, this is not speculation. The common ancestry humans share with apes has been empirically verified in the field of genetics. Please review post #67 in this same thread.

    Quote:
    You can not make the statement "God has yet to answer a prayer" because YOU have not heard, read, etc... every prayer ever made and then followed up to see if they all did not come to pass.  Let's add this to the beginning of your sentence so that it could be true, "In my opinion, God has yet to answer a prayer".

    Studies have been done to demonstrate that prayer has no effect. You might also consider the curious case, if you happen to believe that prayer has any real effect, of Earth's amputees.

    Quote:
    Morality is a trait favored by natural selection?  Are you kidding me?  You know this how?  Tell me what is the standard of "good"?  Is it natural selection?  Population growth is not a good thing according to your scientists or have you not read that?  Where are you seeing stability?  Seems to me that "natural selection" is causing us more damage than good.  Look at the world around you.  Is that your standard of morality?  If so, please stay far away from my family as you apparently can't tell the difference between good and bad.

    *Sigh*

    Science only tells us why or how things happen. It's a tool used for discovery, for those courageous enough to wield it. It does not make value judgements. Propagation is the end 'goal' of our genes; morality has evolved over time because of this. Science does not then assert, "...And that's a good thing," or "...And that's a bad thing," - it's up to us to take the information we discover and decide what we want to do with it.

    Quote:
    "Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

    - Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
    February 27, 1940


    todangst
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    LetsBeLogical wrote:After

    LetsBeLogical wrote:

    After reading ridiculous things atheists have said over the years, this *list* is by far the most ridiculous.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    God did not create the universe

    Our universe was formed via the expansion of a singularity and subsequent formation of structures by hydrogen atoms through gravitational attraction. A magical deity adds nothing to the known explanation.

    Speculation at its best folks. 

    Isn't that a hollow complaint from a person who's response is "goddidit"?

     

    "Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
    "God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'


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    LetsBeLogical wrote:You

    LetsBeLogical wrote:

    You should start a challenge for parents to stop telling their children to "quit acting like monkeys" or "stop acting like an animal".  Silly parent, your kids ARE animals.  Let them be.  Why hinder their instincts to jump on beds, couches, tables, etc...  They can't help it because nature made them this way!

    Naturalistic fallacy.

    LetsBeLogical wrote:
    What's funny is that if something were to happen in the controlled environment you still wouldn't believe it.  You would chalk it up to mere coincidence.

    How do you know that?

    LetsBeLogical wrote:
    Go read the book of Proverbs and tell me that it doesn't reflect reality.  This of course would require that you *gasp* actually read it.

    I've read it. It contradicts science.

    Quote:
    Morality is a trait favored by natural selection?

    Yes.

    Quote:
    Are you kidding me?

    No.

    Quote:
    You know this how?

    Humans are social animals. Certain behaviors are beneficial for survival. 

    Quote:
    Is it natural selection?

    Natural selection is a biological process. It has nothing to say about what is "good." 

    Quote:
    Look at the world around you.  Is that your standard of morality?  If so, please stay far away from my family as you apparently can't tell the difference between good and bad.

    Can't figure out what you're trying to say.

    Quote:
    I guess so since it also causes men to think they are nothing more than the "latest model" of great ape and have no control over their own thoughts and actions.

    Of course we have control over our thoughts and actions.

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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    Quote:Look at the world

    Quote:

    Look at the world around you.  Is that your standard of morality?  If so, please stay far away from my family as you apparently can't tell the difference between good and bad.

    Quote:
    Can't figure out what you're trying to say.

    I think this is the hacneyed "One can't be moral without a God" argument.

    He's trying to say that if one looks at how immorally (by his standard) the humans in this world act, using humanity as a standard means we are immoral.

    Seems awfully strange from a person who:

    1. Ignores the deleterious effect religious humans have on the world in the names of their gods.

    2. Believes that without the words written by men claiming to speak for a God they couldn't adequately describe he'd be a <fill in nasty violent criminal here>..

    LBL, if you need an invisible friend to live morally, keep him and leave the grown-ups alone.

     

     

    "I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
    — George Carlin


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    Salamando wrote:Why is there

    Salamando wrote:
    Why is there something instead of nothing?

    I know you won't reply to this, but I comment on it anyway. Why do you implicitly assume that 'nothing' is the natural state? Why is 'nothing' the way things are 'supposed' to be? Seems to me that by assuming this, then you need to make another baseless assertion that god exists to solve this unnecessary problem.

    Another obvious point is that even if the question was justified, then you would have to explain why there is god instead of nothing.

     


    butterbattle
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    jcgadfly wrote:I think this

    jcgadfly wrote:

    I think this is the hacneyed "One can't be moral without a God" argument.

    He's trying to say that if one looks at how immorally (by his standard) the humans in this world act, using humanity as a standard means we are immoral.

    Seems awfully strange from a person who:

    1. Ignores the deleterious effect religious humans have on the world in the names of their gods.

    2. Believes that without the words written by men claiming to speak for a God they couldn't adequately describe he'd be a <fill in nasty violent criminal here>..

    LBL, if you need an invisible friend to live morally, keep him and leave the grown-ups alone.

    Thanks Jc.

    That's what I suspected, but recently, I've been trying to urge theists to clearly express their perspective before jumping on them because I get tired of deciphering logically incoherent and hopelessly ambiguous sentences as well as proud theists proclaiming, "Ha, that's not what I meant at all!" So, I wanted to wait for him to expand on what he was trying to say. Of course, he'll probably never respond to my post anyways........they never do.

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


    LetsBeLogical (not verified)
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    todangst wrote:LetsBeLogical

    todangst wrote:

    LetsBeLogical wrote:

    After reading ridiculous things atheists have said over the years, this *list* is by far the most ridiculous.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    God did not create the universe

    Our universe was formed via the expansion of a singularity and subsequent formation of structures by hydrogen atoms through gravitational attraction. A magical deity adds nothing to the known explanation.

    Speculation at its best folks. 

    Isn't that a hollow complaint from a person who's response is "goddidit"?

     

    Not a complaint but an observation.  You see, you do the exact same thing that some theists do.  You assume that God could not have done it and there has to be a naturalistic explaination whereas the theist says there must have been "someone" who did it.  What you get upset about is that the theist won't say "I don't know how all of this got here".  The question becomes, "Does something come from nothing"? Or perhaps, "Did something always exist"?  If you answer "yes" to either of those questions then how could that be shown by the scientific method?


    LetsBeLogical (not verified)
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    LetsBeLogical wrote:You

    LetsBeLogical wrote:

    You should start a challenge for parents to stop telling their children to "quit acting like monkeys" or "stop acting like an animal".  Silly parent, your kids ARE animals.  Let them be.  Why hinder their instincts to jump on beds, couches, tables, etc...  They can't help it because nature made them this way!

    butterbattle wrote:
    Naturalistic fallacy.

    What is fallacious about it?  Correcting a child for behavior that apparently nature causes is right because?

    LetsBeLogical wrote:
    What's funny is that if something were to happen in the controlled environment you still wouldn't believe it.  You would chalk it up to mere coincidence.

    butterbattle wrote:
    How do you know that?

    I know this by his statement in which he asserts that God has not answered anyone's prayers.  This is why I asked what would convince him.  Notice how this question went unanswered as did several others.

    LetsBeLogical wrote:
    Go read the book of Proverbs and tell me that it doesn't reflect reality.  This of course would require that you *gasp* actually read it.

    butterbattle wrote:
    I've read it. It contradicts science.

    If we are going to have a conversation you are going to have to actually read what I wrote.  It was stated that no religious text reflects reality.  I told him to read the book of Proverbs and then make that statement.  Since you appear to think the same way I will provide two statements made in Proverbs that do reflect reality and in doing so the argument falls apart.

    Proverbs 15:1 - An answer, when mild, turns away rage, but a word causing pain makes anger to come up.

    Proverbs 30:33 - For the churning of milk is what brings forth butter, and the squeezing of the nose is what brings forth blood, and the squeezing out of anger is what brings forth quarreling.

    Plenty more where that came from in that great book.

     

    Quote:
    Morality is a trait favored by natural selection?

    butterbattle wrote:
    Yes.

    How do you know what natural selection "favors"?

    Quote:
    Are you kidding me?

    butterbattle wrote:
    No.

    How do I know you aren't?

    LetsBeLogical wrote:
    You know this how?

    butterbattle wrote:
    Humans are social animals. Certain behaviors are beneficial for survival.

    How do you know that humans are social animals?  Which "certain behaviors" are beneficial for survival and if only certain ones are, then why do we express the "other" behaviors?  Who decides what is "beneficial for survival"?  I could say that I had to murder you for my survival.  Is murder now a "beneficial behavior"?

    Quote:
    Is it natural selection?

    butterbattle wrote:
    Natural selection is a biological process. It has nothing to say about what is "good."

    So how do you determine what is "good"?  Is it relative?  Does the majority rule?  If its what the majority says then why should small groups of people try to change laws they don't like such as gay marriage?

    Quote:
    I guess so since it also causes men to think they are nothing more than the "latest model" of great ape and have no control over their own thoughts and actions.

    butterbattle wrote:
    Of course we have control over our thoughts and actions.

    How do you know this?  If you are being controlled by something else how would you know it?


    LetsBeLogical (not verified)
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    jcgadfly wrote:I think this

    jcgadfly wrote:

    I think this is the hacneyed "One can't be moral without a God" argument.

    He's trying to say that if one looks at how immorally (by his standard) the humans in this world act, using humanity as a standard means we are immoral.

    Seems awfully strange from a person who:

    1. Ignores the deleterious effect religious humans have on the world in the names of their gods.

    2. Believes that without the words written by men claiming to speak for a God they couldn't adequately describe he'd be a <fill in nasty violent criminal here>..

    LBL, if you need an invisible friend to live morally, keep him and leave the grown-ups alone.

    Do you mind if I speak on my own behalf or are you psychic?  I haven't stated my own argument.  I could just dismiss everything you just said as you are making statements you couldn't possibly know until I tell you.  However,  I enjoy this kind of thing, especially when the "psychic" apparently makes several "boo boos". 

    Here is my argument:  How can one determine what is good or bad if there is no standard of goodness to compare it to?  This would make "good" and "evil" relative to the individual.  Since you and I may differ on our "relative" views then in reality nothing is truly good nor evil, it's all just opinion.  

    1) I don't ignore the abhorent things that have been done in the name of religion, but this has no bearing on if God exists or not.  People are hypocrites.  In fact I am willing to say that all of us are at one point or another.   How many times have we told a child or someone else that they shouldn't do something and yet we do it also?  Does this mean that advice to not do it was somehow wrong because you didn't follow it yourself?  Not at all.

    2) Actually, what I would say is that without God I wouldn't exist and therefore could never be a <fill in nasty violent criminal here> in the first place.   The Bible lets us know about why there is immorality in the world and what the results of those things are.   Those things lead to <fill in nasty violent criminals here> .  However, if people followed God's commands those <fill in nasty violent criminals here> would never exist.  What you are saying is that we don't need God to tell us what we should and shouldn't do because we just seem to know what is right and wrong.  However, why should I trust what you think is wrong or right?  Why should I trust what I think is wrong or right?  Are you saying that if the whole world were athiestic we wouldn't need laws?  If so, why and how would could it possibly be consistent? Explain a bit more.

    Quote:
    LBL, if you need an invisible friend to live morally, keep him and leave the grown-ups alone."

    In your world I wouldn't need anybody because I determine what is moral.  Why force these "morals" on my children?  Why not allow them to grow up and naturally conclude what is moral or not?  Interestingly enough, this is not something you can answer without assuming morality in the first place.


    Vastet
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    I'm kind of sad that Sal and

    I'm kind of sad that Sal and Dim didn't return for their respective education and ridiculing. Oh well. I see I missed something Dim said that I can tear into, and there's new posts by others, so I can still have fun. Smiling

    Dimension9100 wrote:

    Ciarin wrote:

    They are if you're polytheistic.

    That's why polytheism is overtly wrong and incoherent.

    No more so than any other form of theism. Actually, polytheism makes much more sense scientifically, even if it falters philisophically. It is infinitely more likely and possible that a species of superbeing would exist then one and only one superbeing.

    Dimension9100 wrote:

    Quote:
    Nope, you're saying if there is a god, his name is God and there's only one so this god can't be a species. I'm saying there are many gods, and they interbreed with one another. I don't believe in a god named God.

    No, I'm saying that there is an infinite being who is the greatest conceivable being and the ultimate source of everything separate from him.  That being we call "God".  

    That is YOUR interpretation. But it isn't justified or realistic, so you have no business attacking anyone elses interpretations.

    Dimension9100 wrote:

    Whereas you believe that there are different KINDS of infinite/greatest conceivable beings, which is actually an incoherent belief and has absolute no basis in reality, which is why anybody who represents your belief system is practically laughed out of every college campus.  You are what is known as an "idolator" and your understanding of the Abrahamic prospective is practically non-existent.

    Much less incoherant than your own beliefs. Your god is physically impossible. A race of super beings is entirely possible. Though still patently ridiculous in my mind, it is much less ridiculous.

    LetsBeLogical wrote:

    After reading ridiculous things atheists have said over the years, this *list* is by far the most ridiculous.

    Much like your name? Theism and logic are mutually exclusive.

    LetsBeLogical wrote:

     

     

    Speculation at its best folks.  We have someone asserting that he knows for certain that our universe was formed via a singularity and just where did the singularity come from?  Was it eternal?  Did it come from nothing?  Let me guess at the reply.... "We don't know where it came from, but that doesn't mean that God did it".  If you make that statement then you have to retract your last sentence of "A magical deity adds nothing to the known explanation" since you don't actually know if the known explanation is true. 

     

    Not at all. If I see a wallet on the ground, I can assume that someone dropped it, and try to return it to them. Or I can use your logic and assume god put it there for me to find and use. See the difference? Probably not.

    LetsBeLogical wrote:

    And just how on "God's green earth" do you know that?  Oh wait? Nature did it!  It must have since we don't believe that intelligence created the universe, data, laws, etc...

    Gravity, magnetism, etc. Not "nature" as if it were an entity.

    LetsBeLogical wrote:

    Another speculation.  Again, how do you know any of this?  Give us the empirical data or are you relying on the ridiculous "all life we observe comes from life but the first living thing MUST have come from nonliving material" nonsense.

    I'll let you have this one since I'm in a good mood, and I'm aware that abiogenesis hasn't been proven. However, I'll still stick it in your side, since you believe in abiogenesis too. After all, the bible says so. Man came from dust.

    LetsBeLogical wrote:

    Speculation is fun isn't it?  You should start a challenge for parents to stop telling their children to "quit acting like monkeys" or "stop acting like an animal".  Silly parent, your kids ARE animals.  Let them be.  Why hinder their instincts to jump on beds, couches, tables, etc...  They can't help it because nature made them this way!

    My estimation of your intellect practically just bottomed out. Have you never seen an animal trained? Never seen a dog trick? Never watch a wolf teach its cubs? How long have you been living in that rock of yours anyway? Is this the first time you've experienced existence? Were you born yesterday???

    Obviously you aren't worth continuing to bother with.

    Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


    BostonRedSox
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    Vastet wrote:That's why

    Vastet wrote:

    That's why polytheism is overtly wrong and incoherent.

    No more so than any other form of theism. Actually, polytheism makes much more sense scientifically, even if it falters philisophically. It is infinitely more likely and possible that a species of superbeing would exist then one and only one superbeing.

    (1) God is defined as the greatest conceivable being, which means that he theoretically cannot be improved.

    (2) God's level of "greatness" is based on his properties.

    (3) In order for there to be a being distinct from God, that being must have distinct properties or that being is identical to God.

    (4) If any being has properties distinct from the greatest conceivable being, then that being cannot be the greatest conceivable being because any distinct properties would necessarily have to be less great than those of greatest conceivable being.

    (5) Therefore, it is impossible for there to be more than one greatest conceivable being.

    Therefore, polytheism is false.


    NOTES:  "Great" is not being used here in the colloquial sense.  "Great" in the metaphysical sense refers to an objective standard of better or worse.  For example, it is objectively better to be healthy than it is to be sick.  

    The only way that polytheism can be made coherent is if "God" is defined as something other than the greatest conceivable being.  Furthermore, "God" would then have to become some sort of category and clearly it would be incoherent to assume that there could be a category of "greatest conceivable beings."  Polytheism seems to presuppose that what exists are beings, while not necessarily perfect or infinite, have special powers which make them such that we should worship them.  This is the kind of thing that turns people away from theology and it is a good thing that polytheism is not vitiating our academic circles.

     


    Vastet
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    I already covered this.

    I already covered this. Someone isn't paying attention.

    Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


    crazymonkie
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    It would be entertaining if

    It would be entertaining if theists didn't truly believe it. As it is, it's just sort of sad.

     

    Also: It's a variant of the ontological argument *and*, even before the argument is made, presupposes that the definition of a god *needs* 'greatest conceivable being' as one of its necessary attributes. Which it does, for a multi-omni god. But not for a god that isn't multi-omni.

    OrdinaryClay wrote:
    If you don't believe your non-belief then you don't believe and you must not be an atheist.


    BobSpence
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    BostonRedSox wrote:Vastet

    BostonRedSox wrote:

    Vastet wrote:

    That's why polytheism is overtly wrong and incoherent.

    No more so than any other form of theism. Actually, polytheism makes much more sense scientifically, even if it falters philisophically. It is infinitely more likely and possible that a species of superbeing would exist then one and only one superbeing.

    (1) God is defined as the greatest conceivable being, which means that he theoretically cannot be improved.

    (2) God's level of "greatness" is based on his properties.

    (3) In order for there to be a being distinct from God, that being must have distinct properties or that being is identical to God.

    (4) If any being has properties distinct from the greatest conceivable being, then that being cannot be the greatest conceivable being because any distinct properties would necessarily have to be less great than those of greatest conceivable being.

    (5) Therefore, it is impossible for there to be more than one greatest conceivable being.

    Therefore, polytheism is false.
    NOTES:  "Great" is not being used here in the colloquial sense.  "Great" in the metaphysical sense refers to an objective standard of better or worse.  For example, it is objectively better to be healthy than it is to be sick.  

    The only way that polytheism can be made coherent is if "God" is defined as something other than the greatest conceivable being.  Furthermore, "God" would then have to become some sort of category and clearly it would be incoherent to assume that there could be a category of "greatest conceivable beings."  Polytheism seems to presuppose that what exists are beings, while not necessarily perfect or infinite, have special powers which make them such that we should worship them.  This is the kind of thing that turns people away from theology and it is a good thing that polytheism is not vitiating our academic circles.

    But there is no logical requirement that a "greatest conceivable being" actually exists. It is also a definition based on our own finite abilities to conceptualize, so hardly qualifies as an objective argument, and 'greater than' without reference to some specific quality or quantity is an empty idea anyway. The alternative, and more parsimonious, interpretation of this argument is as a 'Reductio ad Absurdum' demonstration that 'infinite being(s)' is a logically incoherent concept, IOW all theisms are false. They have no ultimate explanatory power. (Where did God come from?)

    OTOH, the rational/scientific approach makes far more modest assumptions about reality and origins, only requiring that some state that is as close as anything can be to 'nothing' is the starting point of existence, whether it came from actual nothing (an odd concept - 'actual nothing' ) or always existed. Those last options apply equally to any God entity, a far more improbable thing to just exist or pop into existence than a state of 'almost but not quite nothing'.

    Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

    "Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

    The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

    From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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    BobSpence1 wrote:But there

    BobSpence1 wrote:

    But there is no logical requirement that a "greatest conceivable being" actually exists.It is also a definition based on our own finite abilities to conceptualize, so hardly qualifies as an objective argument, and 'greater than' without reference to some specific quality or quantity is an empty idea anyway. The alternative, and more parsimonious, interpretation of this argument is as a 'Reductio ad Absurdum' demonstration that 'infinite being(s)' is a logically incoherent concept. It has no ultimate explanatory power. (Where did God come from?)

    OTOH, the rational/scientific approach makes far more modest assumptions about reality and origins, only requiring that some state that is as close as anything can be to 'nothing' is the starting point of existence, whether it came from actual nothing (an odd concept - 'actual nothing' ) or always existed. Those last options apply equally to any God entity, a far more improbable thing to just exist or pop into existence than a state of 'almost but not quite nothing'.

    Whether or not it is a logical requirement that God exists is not the issue here.  I would argue that it is and we can argue that if you want.

    But this has nothing to do with our abilities.  In fact, if you examine the typical monotheist position, the nature of God is something that cannot be fully understood by finite beings.  To state that something is the "greatest conceivable being" entails a general theoretical understanding about the nature of God and our inability codify it scientifically is irrelevant.

    The "rational" approach that you've described is actually highly irrational.  We can go into that if you'd like.


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    Vastet wrote:I already

    Vastet wrote:

    I already covered this. Someone isn't paying attention.

    I haven't read every post.  Where did you cover it?


    jcgadfly
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    BostonRedSox wrote:Vastet

    BostonRedSox wrote:

    Vastet wrote:

    That's why polytheism is overtly wrong and incoherent.

    No more so than any other form of theism. Actually, polytheism makes much more sense scientifically, even if it falters philisophically. It is infinitely more likely and possible that a species of superbeing would exist then one and only one superbeing.

    (1) God is defined as the greatest conceivable being, which means that he theoretically cannot be improved.

    (2) God's level of "greatness" is based on his properties.

    (3) In order for there to be a being distinct from God, that being must have distinct properties or that being is identical to God.

    (4) If any being has properties distinct from the greatest conceivable being, then that being cannot be the greatest conceivable being because any distinct properties would necessarily have to be less great than those of greatest conceivable being.

    (5) Therefore, it is impossible for there to be more than one greatest conceivable being.

    Therefore, polytheism is false.


    NOTES:  "Great" is not being used here in the colloquial sense.  "Great" in the metaphysical sense refers to an objective standard of better or worse.  For example, it is objectively better to be healthy than it is to be sick.  

    The only way that polytheism can be made coherent is if "God" is defined as something other than the greatest conceivable being.  Furthermore, "God" would then have to become some sort of category and clearly it would be incoherent to assume that there could be a category of "greatest conceivable beings."  Polytheism seems to presuppose that what exists are beings, while not necessarily perfect or infinite, have special powers which make them such that we should worship them.  This is the kind of thing that turns people away from theology and it is a good thing that polytheism is not vitiating our academic circles.

     

    Strange...that argument makes monotheism false as well...

    "I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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    BobSpence
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    BostonRedSox

    BostonRedSox wrote:

    BobSpence1 wrote:

    But there is no logical requirement that a "greatest conceivable being" actually exists.It is also a definition based on our own finite abilities to conceptualize, so hardly qualifies as an objective argument, and 'greater than' without reference to some specific quality or quantity is an empty idea anyway. The alternative, and more parsimonious, interpretation of this argument is as a 'Reductio ad Absurdum' demonstration that 'infinite being(s)' is a logically incoherent concept. It has no ultimate explanatory power. (Where did God come from?)

    OTOH, the rational/scientific approach makes far more modest assumptions about reality and origins, only requiring that some state that is as close as anything can be to 'nothing' is the starting point of existence, whether it came from actual nothing (an odd concept - 'actual nothing' ) or always existed. Those last options apply equally to any God entity, a far more improbable thing to just exist or pop into existence than a state of 'almost but not quite nothing'.

    Whether or not it is a logical requirement that God exists is not the issue here.  I would argue that it is and we can argue that if you want.

    But this has nothing to do with our abilities.  In fact, if you examine the typical monotheist position, the nature of God is something that cannot be fully understood by finite beings.  To state that something is the "greatest conceivable being" entails a general theoretical understanding about the nature of God and our inability codify it scientifically is irrelevant.

    The "rational" approach that you've described is actually highly irrational.  We can go into that if you'd like.

    A 'greatest conceivable being' no more must exist than a 'greatest conceivable ice-cream' must exist. This is the most stupid and irrational argument around for the existence of God. We could intrinsically have no certain understanding of anything about any being which even approximated the notion of God, it being so far beyond our level. It is in the realm of pure uninformed speculation, by its very definition.

    Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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    BobSpence1 wrote:A 'greatest

    BobSpence1 wrote:

    A 'greatest conceivable being' no more must exist than a 'greatest conceivable ice-cream' must exist. This is the most stupid and irrational argument around for the existence of God. We could intrinsically have no certain understanding of anything about any being which even approximated the notion of God, it being so far beyond our level. It is in the realm of pure uninformed speculation, by its very definition.

    This is not the ontological argument, but even if it was, you did not refute with the argument you've just made.  "Greatest conceivable ice-cream" is a non-sequitur because an ice cream, by its very nature, is an imperfect entity.  Therefore, you are essentially arguing that because we cannot necessitate the existence of the most perfect imperfect thing that God is not necessary.

    But it is a moot point because I *agree* that the ontological argument is false.  God is logically necessary for other reasons.

     


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    BostonRedSox

    BostonRedSox wrote:

    BobSpence1 wrote:

    A 'greatest conceivable being' no more must exist than a 'greatest conceivable ice-cream' must exist. This is the most stupid and irrational argument around for the existence of God. We could intrinsically have no certain understanding of anything about any being which even approximated the notion of God, it being so far beyond our level. It is in the realm of pure uninformed speculation, by its very definition.

    This is not the ontological argument, but even if it was, you did not refute with the argument you've just made.  "Greatest conceivable ice-cream" is a non-sequitur because an ice cream, by its very nature, is an imperfect entity.  Therefore, you are essentially arguing that because we cannot necessitate the existence of the most perfect imperfect thing that God is not necessary.

    But it is a moot point because I *agree* that the ontological argument is false.  God is logically necessary for other reasons.

    First, "greatest conceivable ice-cream" is NOT a non-sequiter any more than "greatest conceivable being", since 'being' no more entails perfection than does 'ice-cream'. A 'perfect' object of any category is simply one all of whose essential attributes are 'perfect', by whatever definition is applicable. Actually the difficulty is with the terms 'perfect' and 'imperfect', which are subjective or undefined when applied to anything other than purely deductive concepts such as numbers and geometric shapes. 'Perfect' entities in reality, ie, outside the world of abstract argument, are unlikely to actually exist.

    I was not arguing that the non-necessity of the existence of a perfect ice-cream means specifically that God is not necessary, just that this whole argument has no merit in establishing whether anything 'must' exist. I don't thing any specific entities are 'necessary', in a general sense - 'perfect' beings, 'necessary' entities, are concepts that no longer have any utility in rational thought, IMHO.

    If you don't accept the validity of the form of argument you used, why did you use it? Or are you saying that some aspects of that argument are still valid in the context used, ie, to argue against polythesim?

    Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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    BobSpence1 wrote:First,

    BobSpence1 wrote:

    First, "greatest conceivable ice-cream" is NOT a non-sequiter any more than "greatest conceivable being", since 'being' no more entails perfection than does 'ice-cream'. A 'perfect' object of any category is simply one all of whose essential attributes are 'perfect', by whatever definition is applicable. Actually the difficulty is with the terms 'perfect' and 'imperfect', which are subjective or undefined when applied to anything other than purely deductive concepts such as numbers and geometric shapes. 'Perfect' entities in reality, ie, outside the world of abstract argument, are unlikely to actually exist.

    I was not arguing that the non-necessity of the existence of a perfect ice-cream means specifically that God is not necessary, just that this whole argument has no merit in establishing whether anything 'must' exist. I don't thing any specific entities are 'necessary', in a general sense - 'perfect' beings, 'necessary' entities, are concepts that no longer have any utility in rational thought, IMHO.

    If you don't accept the validity of the form of argument you used, why did you use it? Or are you saying that some aspects of that argument are still valid in the context used, ie, to argue against polythesim?

     

    "Greatest conceivable ice-cream" IS a non-sequitur for the reasons I've explained:  It is imperfect by its very nature.  First of all, it must be brought into being and therefore is not self-sufficient for explaining its own existence.  Second of all, it has an ontological dependence on things like milk, sugar, butterfat, eggs, etc.  For your ice cream to be "perfect" in the metaphysical sense, it would have to bypass all these factors and you would have to establish that the ingredients which compose an ice cream cannot theoretically be improved not just within the scope of their nature, but within the scope of all things that can conceivably exist, i.e. that nothing is objectively better or more perfect than your ice cream, including a living human being.

    "Being" does not have any sort of ontological dependence on imperfect things in the way that an ice cream does.  It is perfectly valid to assume that there is a being which cannot theoretically be improved using an objective standard of better or worse.  "Perfect" in the metaphysical sense is NOT subjective anymore than it is subjective that healthy is metaphysically greater than being sick.  

    I do not mean to be condescending, but I do not think that you've done your homework in this area.  These rebuttals to the ontological argument are hundreds of years old.  There are much better ways that you can refute this argument.  

    I would argue that rational thought itself is grounded upon necessary a priori principles and if, as you say, nothing is "necessary", then you have no objective basis for rational discourse nor do you have any objective basis for natural science, which you seem to fancy as being the best means for understanding the world.  But that's another argument.

    The form of the argument that I've used had nothing to do with the ontological argument.  I really do not know where you got that from.  

     


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    Quote:This is not the

    Quote:
    This is not the ontological argument, but even if it was, you did not refute with the argument you've just made.  "Greatest conceivable ice-cream" is a non-sequitur because an ice cream, by its very nature, is an imperfect entity.

    Dude, put up or shut-up:

     

    Where's your evidence for God?

    Quote:
    "Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

    - Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
    February 27, 1940


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    BostonRedSox

    BostonRedSox wrote:

    BobSpence1 wrote:

    First, "greatest conceivable ice-cream" is NOT a non-sequiter any more than "greatest conceivable being", since 'being' no more entails perfection than does 'ice-cream'. A 'perfect' object of any category is simply one all of whose essential attributes are 'perfect', by whatever definition is applicable. Actually the difficulty is with the terms 'perfect' and 'imperfect', which are subjective or undefined when applied to anything other than purely deductive concepts such as numbers and geometric shapes. 'Perfect' entities in reality, ie, outside the world of abstract argument, are unlikely to actually exist.

    I was not arguing that the non-necessity of the existence of a perfect ice-cream means specifically that God is not necessary, just that this whole argument has no merit in establishing whether anything 'must' exist. I don't thing any specific entities are 'necessary', in a general sense - 'perfect' beings, 'necessary' entities, are concepts that no longer have any utility in rational thought, IMHO.

    If you don't accept the validity of the form of argument you used, why did you use it? Or are you saying that some aspects of that argument are still valid in the context used, ie, to argue against polythesim?

     

    "Greatest conceivable ice-cream" IS a non-sequitur for the reasons I've explained:  It is imperfect by its very nature.  First of all, it must be brought into being and therefore is not self-sufficient for explaining its own existence.  Second of all, it has an ontological dependence on things like milk, sugar, butterfat, eggs, etc.  For your ice cream to be "perfect" in the metaphysical sense, it would have to bypass all these factors and you would have to establish that the ingredients which compose an ice cream cannot theoretically be improved not just within the scope of their nature, but within the scope of all things that can conceivably exist, i.e. that nothing is objectively better or more perfect than your ice cream, including a living human being.

    "Being" does not have any sort of ontological dependence on imperfect things in the way that an ice cream does.  It is perfectly valid to assume that there is a being which cannot theoretically be improved using an objective standard of better or worse.  "Perfect" in the metaphysical sense is NOT subjective anymore than it is subjective that healthy is metaphysically greater than being sick.  

    I do not mean to be condescending, but I do not think that you've done your homework in this area.  These rebuttals to the ontological argument are hundreds of years old.  There are much better ways that you can refute this argument.  

    I would argue that rational thought itself is grounded upon necessary a priori principles and if, as you say, nothing is "necessary", then you have no objective basis for rational discourse nor do you have any objective basis for natural science, which you seem to fancy as being the best means for understanding the world.  But that's another argument.

    The form of the argument that I've used had nothing to do with the ontological argument.  I really do not know where you got that from.  

     

    And any "god " is an imperfect entity for the exact reasons you cited.

    "I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
    — George Carlin


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    jcgadfly wrote:And any "god

    jcgadfly wrote:

    And any "god " is an imperfect entity for the exact reasons you cited.

    God is ontologically dependent on milk and eggs?


    BobSpence
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    BostonRedSox

    BostonRedSox wrote:

    BobSpence1 wrote:

    First, "greatest conceivable ice-cream" is NOT a non-sequiter any more than "greatest conceivable being", since 'being' no more entails perfection than does 'ice-cream'. A 'perfect' object of any category is simply one all of whose essential attributes are 'perfect', by whatever definition is applicable. Actually the difficulty is with the terms 'perfect' and 'imperfect', which are subjective or undefined when applied to anything other than purely deductive concepts such as numbers and geometric shapes. 'Perfect' entities in reality, ie, outside the world of abstract argument, are unlikely to actually exist.

    I was not arguing that the non-necessity of the existence of a perfect ice-cream means specifically that God is not necessary, just that this whole argument has no merit in establishing whether anything 'must' exist. I don't thing any specific entities are 'necessary', in a general sense - 'perfect' beings, 'necessary' entities, are concepts that no longer have any utility in rational thought, IMHO.

    If you don't accept the validity of the form of argument you used, why did you use it? Or are you saying that some aspects of that argument are still valid in the context used, ie, to argue against polythesim?

     

    "Greatest conceivable ice-cream" IS a non-sequitur for the reasons I've explained:  It is imperfect by its very nature.  First of all, it must be brought into being and therefore is not self-sufficient for explaining its own existence.  Second of all, it has an ontological dependence on things like milk, sugar, butterfat, eggs, etc.  For your ice cream to be "perfect" in the metaphysical sense, it would have to bypass all these factors and you would have to establish that the ingredients which compose an ice cream cannot theoretically be improved not just within the scope of their nature, but within the scope of all things that can conceivably exist, i.e. that nothing is objectively better or more perfect than your ice cream, including a living human being.

    "Being" does not have any sort of ontological dependence on imperfect things in the way that an ice cream does.  It is perfectly valid to assume that there is a being which cannot theoretically be improved using an objective standard of better or worse.  "Perfect" in the metaphysical sense is NOT subjective anymore than it is subjective that healthy is metaphysically greater than being sick.  

    I do not mean to be condescending, but I do not think that you've done your homework in this area.  These rebuttals to the ontological argument are hundreds of years old.  There are much better ways that you can refute this argument.  

    I would argue that rational thought itself is grounded upon necessary a priori principles and if, as you say, nothing is "necessary", then you have no objective basis for rational discourse nor do you have any objective basis for natural science, which you seem to fancy as being the best means for understanding the world.  But that's another argument.

    The form of the argument that I've used had nothing to do with the ontological argument.  I really do not know where you got that from.  

    I personally never used the word 'ontological'. Another poster did. I was not really trying to 'refute' it - it and the concepts it employs don't constitute anything close enough to a coherent set of statements to be worth calling an 'argument'.

    'Greatest conceivable x' in a strict, properly logical, meaningful, ie non-metaphysical sense, does NOT imply that x must be perfect, self-sufficient, nor that it or its ingredients are somehow 'greater' or 'more perfect' than any other conceivable entity. These are all egregious additions to the concept of greater or greatest or perfect that contribute only to a totally obscure form of argument that serves only to disguise that fact that it is logically empty of substance. (EDIT: and allow the person employing such arguments to believe he is actually conducting a valid discourse).

    The only thing that is 'necessary' for existence as we know it is the most minimal possible energy field - we can in principle show that all else we know of can arise from this without violating any established natural laws. To insist that anything else is 'necessary' is pure empty assertion. 'Science' is the only approach to gaining insight into the nature of reality that we are justified in having any degree of confidence in, based on its 'track record'. Anything else remains in the realm of speculation, or worse, empty word play, IOW most of philosophy and metaphysics.

    You obviously deeply disagree, and I suspect from your obvious deep commitment to the 'metaphysical' concepts you use, that any attempt to further discuss these issues between us would be futile.

     

    Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

    "Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

    The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

    From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology